Scientific Name: Dromaius novaehollandiae
Some emus migrate huge distances in search of food, possibly several hundred kilometres each year.
The emu is Australia’s largest bird. Standing at 2m tall it has a flat breast bone instead of the usual keel-like bone which supports the wing muscles of flying birds. The female is slightly larger than the male, who will lose 5 to 10 kg during his long sit on the hatching eggs. The feathers are greyish-brown in colour and have a rough hair-like texture. There is a bare patch of blue skin on the side of the head and down the throat.
Emus occur of of most of Australia except for the far east and Tasmania. They prefer open grassland but will also live in open woodland and savannah.
Emu’s suffer in times of drought, because their diet is based mainly on green grass and plant growth. It also consumes caterpillars, grasshoppers, and large insects.
The eggs are dark green, with a rough surface and may weigh up to 750gm. The average clutch of eggs is nine, though numbers vary considerably. The male sits on the eggs, incubating them for about eight weeks, then looks after the chicks by himself for up to 18 months after hatching.